I’m familiar with an organization whose leaders have asked me for input on spending some community funds in their neighborhood. I’m leaving out details as to where and what organization because I’m not sure they want anyone to know about this project yet, but I did get permission to ask my readers on here, as long as I don’t give any of their details. The elected officials are looking to spend funds on something that the community can benefit from. Citizens pay taxes, and they want to make sure those funds go back into the community, so everyone can benefit. Often, taxes go to pay for things we don’t think about like paving/plowing roads, fire and police protection, powering street lights, emptying city trash cans, park landscaping and maintenance, and other behind-the-scenes services. But for this project, they’re looking for a way to give back to the community in a more visible way. Here are some of the ideas that have been tossed around just to give you some examples of the scope of their project funds and ideas:
- Some kind of community center or large room available for sign-out (like for wedding receptions and such)
- Community swimming pool. This one is low on the list due to the high cost of maintenance and insurance, but it is a good example of the kind of thing that might engage lots of community members.
- Community garden or greenhouse
- Offering free Wi-Fi in local parks
- New shelter house in a local park or additional play equipment
- Adding a new park in the area
What other ideas might I add to this list? If this was your community, how would YOU envision community engagement funds to be spent? How best could your elected officials serve YOU? In what ways could your elected officials show that they value you and your tax contributions to the community?
Thanks in advance for your input!